Hebrew for dummies


The ח has been replaced by ת so instead of ‘Happy hanukah’ it says something like ‘The tag will be deducted dead’.


Learning Hebrew is not so easy: just like names, totally different words can be very similar and changing one letter will introduce huge confusion. A friend once threw away (lizrok) a document instead of scanning (lisrok) it because those two words really sound alike. I thus thought it would be fun to make a list of the mistakes that I (or my friends) have done to give you a sense of how funny and embarrassing it can be. First what we said and then, what we meant to say…



‘Kohev li hagag’ instead of ‘kohev li hagav’ (‘My roof hurts’ instead of ‘my back hurts’)

‘Eize gezer!’ instead of ‘Eize gever!’ (‘What a carrot!’ instead of ‘What a man!’). Works also with ‘mitz gever’ (‘man juice’)…

‘Yesh arbe avanim ba midbar’ for ‘Yesh arbe anavim ba mitbakh’ (‘There are a lot of stones in the desert’ for ‘There are a lot of grapes in the kitchen’)

‘Akhalti ba misvada tova etmol’ instead of ‘Akhalti ba missada tova’ (‘I ate in a good suitcase yesterday’ instead of ‘a good restaurant’ of course)

‘Tiftakh khalom b’vakasha’ instead of ‘Tiftakh khalon b’vakasha’ (‘Open a dream please’ instead of ‘Open the window please’)

‘Ani ohevet et hatzava kakhol’ instead of ‘Ani ohevet et hatzeva kakhol’ (‘I like the army blue’ instead of ‘I like the color blue’)

‘Yesh li herayon!’ instead of ‘Yesh li rahayon!’ (‘I have a pregnancy’ instead of ‘I have an idea’).

Many mistakes occur also when writing, when the only difference between ‘a lot’ and ‘locust’ is a mute letter… Hebrew is fun and I will probably keep the list growing!

EDIT – Nice contributions of friends:

‘Efshar levashel be kartis ashrai?’ instead of ‘Efshar leshalem be kartis ashrai?’ (‘Is it possible to cook with a credit card’ instead of ‘to pay’)

‘Zot khamora sheli’ for ‘Zot hamora sheli’ (‘This is my (female) donkey’ for ‘This is my teacher’)

To an Ethiopian guy: ‘Yesh po kushim?’ instead ‘Yesh po kashim?’ (‘Do you have niggaz’ instead of ‘Do you have straws?’)

Shouting in the traffic: ‘Lo rahit et hamakhzor adom?!’ instead of ‘Lo rahit et haramzor adom?!’ (‘Didn’t you see the red period?!’ instead of ‘Didn’t you see the red traffic light?!’)

This one is untranslatable, sorry: שמן זין

A friend who was asked what she does for a living and who’s occasionally doing the cleaning lady answered:   אני מנקה ביצים (‘Ani menakah beitzim’ instead of ‘Ani menakah baitim’- “I am cleaning eggs” instead of “houses”)

One thought on “Hebrew for dummies

  1. Pingback: 4 Years – At the threshold of a new life

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